Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Nutrisystem; end of week 8!

Disclaimer: I was provided with Nutrisystem in order to form a genuine opinion and perspective. All thoughts are my own and your views/results may differ to mine. Thank you!

This week has flown by in a horrible mess of crazy as I somehow managed to smash my phone and then my sink sprung a leak, followed by my freezer breaking down on the same day as my Nutrisystem frozen food delivery was due! 

I panicked the day away as I had no idea what to do with the Nutrisystem food (when it arrived) and I waited with baited breath for my building manager to get back to me about what happens next in this inconvenient situation. 


Well, my phone call was returned within a couple of hours and as the time ticked away, things started to look a little rosy. My building manager swooped in like a super-hero and provided me with a key to a neighboring apartment that was vacant but still had electricity on, which ALSO had in it a working freezer, fabulous! 

My frozen food was to be saved in the neighboring freezer until such time as my new freezer arrived, which my maintenance guy ordered for me and organized for Wednesday. At this point I am happy to have such a great team looking after my apt and I am equally relieved that I rent at all! If I had to spring the cash for a new freezer myself this week, we would have been hot out of luck - sometimes it does pay to rent!

(Nutrisystem's Tiramisu!)

SO! With that crisis averted (and my new Tiramisu safe and sound!) I continue on my Nutrisystem journey as I enter the last 3rd of my 3 month partnership with them, which has been more successful than I could ever have imagined. 

My weigh-in this week brings me down to 270lbs on the dot, meaning that I am now down a grand 28lbs (2 stone if you are overseas) in the last 8 weeks. 


I have been working hard, watching everything I eat, taking notes from the little book they provided me at the beginning and I have also been thinking about the foods I will be cooking for myself once this last month is finally over.

What I have learned has been invaluable and I can't wait to share these last few weeks with you!

I know I've got this - and you do to! 

Good luck! Look out for me next week and follow hashtags #NSNation #Nutrisystemsnaps and @Nutrisystem across social media for more information! 

As always, get in touch if you are on a weight-loss journey, too! I would love to hear from you!

- MGB

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

End of Week 7 on Nutrisystem! #NSNation

Disclaimer: All opinions are based on my own experiences with Nutrisystem based on the products provided to me in exchange for these views. Your views and experiences may differ to mine. Thank you! 


It is the end of week 7 on Nutrisystem and this week my weight has remained the same. So, still 275 and 23lbs down, but (at the risk of oversharing) it is that time of the month, again, and the same thing happened last month and so I am not at all concerned or bothered by the lack of any real loss this week.


I have been quite busy running around town as usual and attended a few back to school events over the weekend. I did get a little too much sun, but we have switched to evening walks for when the air is cooler to compensate.

Yesterday I also took the kids to a ball play-place called Ballocity, where parents can run, jump and slide down slides, throw balls around and generally have a great time, too and that exhausted me to no end.


One thing I did realize when we were at Ballocity is that I now don't fear not fitting on slides and I am not worried about getting out of breath or what I look like. We just had fun, like we normally would, but with more of a confident approach.

One other thing I noticed this week, also, is that I don't want to wear all the old clothes that I have, anymore. I have one t-shirt in particular that I used to adore but now it just makes me look like I have zero shape and so i'd rather put it away and never wear it again - maybe in a few months, some new clothes will come in handy, and winter could get a lot more stylish, we'll have to wait and see!


I am looking forward to the week ahead as I do have some activities planned with the kids and my new shipment of food is due to arrive in the next couple of days. I look forward to sharing with you some tasty Nutrisystem goodies that I haven't tried before - along with some trusted favorites like the melt, above.

If you are on Nutrisystem, I would love to hear how you are getting along, and your opinions, either in the comments section or via email - however you like! Let's talk about it!

Until next week - keep on keeping-on!

-MGB

Skinny Pop Popcorn for Back to School Treats!

Disclaimer: I was provided with products in exchange for my honest opinions. Your views may differ to mine. Thank you!




Skinny Pop Popcorn is ready to go back to school with the kids and they also want you to think about the ingredients in the food you put in your lunch boxes. 

With everything we eat becoming more and more laden with added extras, Skinny Pop Popcorn wants us to think about applying the "If you can't spell it, don't eat it" rule and that can be easier said than done!

Skinny Pop Popcorn, made with just a few simple ingredients (sunflower oil, salt and the popcorn itself) asked a few kids to spell out words like "soy lectin", "monosodium glutimate" and "dextrose" (all found in popular snacks), which resulted in this cute video:


We love the taste of Skinny Pop Popcorn and at 100 calories, putting it up for snack time or in with lunch is something I am definitely O.K. with and the kids will munch it with a wide smile - it also makes for a tasty snack through the day if you'd like to stick to a lower calorie eating plan. 

To find out more about Skinny Pop Popcorn, head on over to their website and on social media, too!

Enjoy!


Monday, 22 August 2016

No-Nut Butter from Sneaky Chef!

Disclaimer: I was provided with products in exchange for my opinions. Your views may differ to mine, thank you! 


This is the Sneaky Chef's NO-NUT Butter in creamy and chocolate flavors! 

There are zero nuts in these products, which makes it great for kids (or grown-ups) with allergies, to step away from the nuts, while still being able to enjoy the tastes similar to hazelnut spreads or peanut butters, without the trouble nuts can present. 

So what ARE these made from?! Well, PEAS! Can you even believe it? I had no idea until I tried these out that you could make such deliciously creamy (and chocolaty) spreads from Golden PEAS!

These spreads are a great source of protein, contain no high fructose syrups, are all natural AND gluten free, so there are so many people who are free to enjoy them, even after regular spreads have been taken off of the table. 

The big test on these two came with my 5 and 2 year olds, who pretty much tell it like it is when they try something new. I tried a No-Nut Butter and jelly sandwich and no one could tell the difference between the No-Nut Butter or Peanut Butter. Similarly, they couldn't tell the difference between a regular chocolate spread and the Sneaky Chef spread and actually came back for another go!

You can pick up both of these products in 18 oz jars, plus grab and go cups (available for the smooth). Right now, Sneaky Chef has also partnered with Annie's Homegrown to come up with Pea B&J Pockets, which you will be able to locate in Target (in the freezer isle).

Check out more from Sneaky Chef on social media and via their website, and get tasting, today - allergy or no allergy, enjoy!


Bananawave - as close to milk as you will get without the milk!

Disclaimer: I was provided with product in exchange for my honest opinions. Your views may differ to mine! Thank you!

BANANAWAVE!



Bananawave bananamilk is made from, you guessed it, BANANAS! Something we can all agree on in our house as a fruit we all enjoy. Passed down through generations, the ancient African recipe for BANANAWAVE leaves us with a nutrient-rich, smooth and creamy alternative to milk products across the board.

In just a single serving, you can find as much potassium as you find in that of a small banana, with 29 vitamins and minerals plus omega-3s.

If you are vegan then this is for you as BANANAWAVE is natural, dairy-free, gluten-free and even GMO free, leaving you to enjoy the product as good as it can get, even on your vegan diet!
BANANAWAVE is a great alternative to anyone managing certain allergies that might leave them unable to consume similar beverages, or for those just looking for something a little like milk. 

You can use BANANAWAVE on your cereal, in your coffee, in a shake (like I did) or just on its own or in baking and mixing. There are many great possibilities and alternatives that you can substitute this for in many recipes. 

There are a plethora of things you can add BANANAWAVE to, but we all found it quite delicious just on its own, which meant that it didn't last very long in our house and the kids thoroughly enjoyed it - my youngest son is particularly fond of bananas and so this is his pot of gold!

If you are looking for a delicious, sweet and creamy milk alternative, I would definitely give this one a shot! 10/10!

Let Jennie-O Help You Slide Back to School with Recipes for Success!

Disclaimer: I was provided with product in exchange for an honest opinion. Your views may differ to mine. Thank you!


It is back to school time and Jennie-O has great online resources for busy moms to help the transition back to regular meal times go as smoothly as possible - and with a few handy tips and tricks to keep things running like clockwork, as well.

How about Turkey Tacos to go, Turkey BLT or Brunch in those school lunch boxes? These will keep the kids from getting hungry and they'll be full and satisfied.

And what about mom? All that running about, you might want to think about some make-ahead mason jar salads, which are all the rage, right now and really easy to make ahead when you make the kids lunches, and just grab them to go when you're hungry or when you have to pack a lunch of your own. This five minute Mediterranean salad is right up my street and so simple, it takes no time at all.

"Packed with veggies, packed with protein and packed into a jar, this portable picnic pleasure is a quick and easy Mediterraneansalad treat. No gluten and under 500 calories per serving!" 
- Jennie-O Website (in reference to the Mediterranean salad).

In under 15 minutes you can prep your salads and store them ready for the day/s ahead and with simple, protein packed goodies and in a relatively low calorie count, I can even eat these on a flex lunch or dinner on the plan I am on right now AND other members of my household will appreciate these, too!

Jennie-O has a list of snack ideas to keep your kids (and you) going through the day, and lunch ideas to keep things fresh! If you also want to know how to keep an apple from turning brown, yet still be able to send it to school as sliced, then you can find out how, here! They've just about thought of everything.

I personally like to take some turkey with crackers and cheese for the kids to snack on any time of day, and I also like to make up a big vat of either turkey chili or turkey bolognaise to freeze down in portions to heat and serve as the week goes by - usually prepping on a Sunday for the week gets the job done, but whatever suits your schedule is the way to go.

SO! When you are getting ready to go back to school this week, maybe when you are in the larger stores buying up school supplies, just stop and think about the food for a moment and see if Jennie-O can make it easy on you and the transition back to this regular, sometimes tiring, routine that is school!

Got any recipes for turkey, or some fun back to school tips and tricks? I'd love to hear from you. In the mean time, find Jennie-O on social media like Twitter and Facebook with hashtag: #switchtoturkey.

With turkey recipes, how-tos and a menu for your lunch boxes to keep things simple, back to school never tasted so good!


Dr. Eureka - Building Skills, Learning and Having Fun with Blue Orange Games!

Disclaimer: I was provided with products in order to give my honest opinions. I was not otherwise compensated. Thank you. 

BRAND NEW in the 2016 collection of Blue Orange Games comes:

Dr. EUREKA


Designed by Roberto Fraga, this is a hands-on, learning game for kids 8 and up, but my daughter, who is nearly 6, loves this game a lot and so does my step son, who is a young 12. 

The basics to this game are that you each get 3 viles, with 6 balls, which represent molecules. You then have to be the first person to get all of your "molecules" in the right order to correspond with the pattern presented on the card that comes up for that round. 

The players have several ways of getting to the end result of the displayed "molecules". They can pour from one to another (vile) and end up with the result or they can even simply tip the vile upside down to get there. There are other ways to play, also, which can make it easier or harder depending on age or level of confidence.

When you think you have the right result, you should EUREKA! Then, once a player has been determined as the winner, all viles are put back in their upright position (if they were turned) but the "molecules" do not reset. You continue with those just right where they are and start the next round. The overall winner is the person who wins several rounds and you can add extra if you want to prolong a game.

This is a simple game with lots of energy and hand-eye coordination, with dexterity and cognitive learning skills involved. The players are also lead to grasp the idea of molecules, which has sparked a conversation with my kids on just what exactly a molecule is - which is a learning moment you might want to explore if this happens to you. 

The whole family can play this game, it keeps you thinking fast and everyone likes to compete. I would keep it away from youngsters though as the balls are a choking hazzard in the wrong hands - definitely not a game for my 2 year old, so we've had to play this game during his nap so that he doesn't get hold of the pieces, and so that he doesn't feel like he is being left out. 

The presentation of this game is nice, clean and bright. It is easy to pack up in the box that it came in and the rules and game-play are simple and easy to understand.

I would definitely consider this a gift-giving game that kids will enjoy and that will spark some science conversations and a learning window. 

Definitely giving this one a 10/10 as we all enjoy it a lot and we can run several rounds before anyone gets bored. Well worth a look!


Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Nutrisystem, end of week 6 - we're still going strong!

Disclaimer: I was provided with products in order to form a honest opinion based on my own experiences with Nutrisystem. Your views may differ to mine. Thank you!


So! Here we are at the end of week 6 - time is flying by and I feel so much better than I could even have imagined I would just a month and a half in to Nutrisystem.

This week's weigh-in brings me down to 275.2lbs, which is almost 23lbs down. For a 6 week total, I am actually amazed that I am doing so well. I had that stumbling block before where I didn't shift any weight but last week we got moving again and this week sees another 2lbs gone!

I have no idea where that weight is going from, but I think most of it (if not all of it) has gone at the thigh and the waist as I no longer feel like I look 22 months pregnant and I actually JUST (this week) fit back in to a pair of my favourite jeans that I have not worn in 3 years.

The jeans speak volumes to me about how this is all working and really boosts my drive to keep on going. I only just recently bought a couple of pairs of new jeans that are now too big for me at the waist and so I am glad I didn't throw out the jeans that had gotten too small as I now suddenly have this whole new (old) wardrobe that I loved in the first place and am more than happy about being able to wear once more.

I have stuck to the Nutrisystem plan as directed and I haven't had alcohol now since July 1st, either. I do allow a little creamer in my coffee here and there and I do once in a while reach for the closest alternative to something that is on the list of foods from the Smart Carbs and the Power Fuels lists - I also am a lot more confident that I know that I can make a flex lunch or dinner and be completely satisfied with the results there, too.


This week the hardest thing for me has been the heat. The weather has been less than forgiving but I have gotten up and wandered and walked and played outside with the kids and walked some more! I do a LOT of walking and I really think this has helped immensely. I do a short workout every day, too, to make sure I am keeping things well oiled and the gears in motion.

This week's activities included a walk around a local museum's arboretum, which was shady because of the trees and cool because of the shade and because of the water that runs in a stream through the middle of it. It is very scenic and there are (dare I say it) Pokemon stops everywhere, so not only can you walk and enjoy the gardens, you can actually collect those elusive Pokemon and keep up with your friend's on social media, while burning off those calories and getting things together.

I still don't notice much of a change when I look at myself in the mirror, but I am noticing little pieces here and there and in certain clothes I know I look so much better than I did just 6 weeks ago. I also had a compliment from a friend I haven't seen in some time who had no idea I was on any kind of plan and so wasn't trying to pat my ego or anything when she commented on the fact that I looked like I had lost some weight. These moments make me really appreciate that something more than just numbers on a scale are really happening now and that it won't been too long before people that see me on a daily basis get to noticing the changes, as well.

My thoughts this week lead me to appreciate the things that I am gaining, while losing this weight, which are:
  • The ability to breathe without getting winded
  • To walk without getting exhausted sooner
  • New jeans in the shape of old pairs that I haven't worn in forever
  • Respect for myself 
  • Pride in the fact that I can do this if I work hard enough at it
  • Joy, knowing that change is possible
I have had a few emails from people wanted to know if I think Nutrisystem is worth it and I have to say, without a shadow of a doubt, that (for me especially) I am completely sold on the principle and the process that comes with Nutrisystem and that YES, it works for me. If you are thinking about trying it for yourself, you can find them on their website and across social media for more information to see if this might be the right choice for you, too. 

For more information or ideas, follow me on Twitter: @GoBronson and follow @Nutrisystem, too. You can also follow the hashtags #NSNation and #NutrisystemSnaps for inspiration, too. 

Until next week! 

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Nutrisystem end of week 5!

Disclaimer: i was provided with product in exchange for my honest opinions. Your views may differ from mine, thank you.

This week's Nutrisystem update comes to you in video form as my laptop is in for repair! (Sorry about about the poor quality and crazy hair!).




Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Nutrisystem, end of week 4!

Disclaimer: I was provided with Nutrisystem in exchange for my honest opinions. My views and results may differ from yours. Thank you. 

This week, I admit, was hard.

Week 4 is over, which means I have been on the Nutrisystem plan for a month and I have seen some great results that I can definitely "write home" about.

I didn't quite know what to expect going into it, but I didn't expect it to go so well, though it has and I am eternally grateful for that push to really start getting my body on track and back to something healthier than the almost 300lbs I had hit just before getting on the Nutrisystem plan.

Last week, I hit 280lbs which has been a huge goal of mine since I blew up and out and sideways, so I have been over the moon with that. The weight loss has simmered a little this week, though and I have not really lost much if anything, though I have happily maintained the weight from last week and feel all the better for it.

I have been sticking to the plan, though I did have one weak moment where I had an ice cream that was not part of Nutrisystem or a flex anything and so I shouldn't really have had that, though I am not going to beat myself up about it.

I have received my next month's worth of food in the last couple of days and there are some meals in there that I have not yet had the pleasure to try and so I can't wait to let you know how those go down! I have ordered the things I liked from last month like the waffles, ice cream, french toast, cheese melts and cheese and broccoli stuffed chicken (and more) and left off the items that I liked, but could live without for this month.

Shakes have been included for this month, so I can choose a shake in place of one or two snacks here and there if I so wish, so we will see how that goes, as well.

I have not been exercising quite as much this week as I was sick  and did have a trip to the doctors and had to get some meds for a chest infection, but I am taking everything at a reasonable pace and making sure I stay hydrated and not getting ahead of what my body can handle.

I did get weighed at the doctor's office, too - the weight was the same as I'd seen on my at-home scales and so I am confident that I am on the right track and getting the accurate results that I need to keep me motivated and honestly reporting!

I can't wait to see what this month brings - lots of walking, exercising at home at my own pace and level, Pokemon Go for motivation and whatever adventures await us at the park/bowling/events etc from now until it gets just too cold to venture out!

I look forward to sharing more of my journey with you in the coming weeks, and would love to hear from you if you are on Nutrisystem, too!

Have a wonderful week, and stay positive!

-B xx